Dollywood’s Shut Down ‘Lightning Rod’ And The World’s Fastest Roller Coasters

After being open for just over a week, Dollywood’s newest roller coaster, the Lighting Rod, is being shut down temporarily. The Pigeon Forge theme park, named after the country music legend, Dolly Parton, had just finished a long remodeling project and celebrated with the grand opening of the world’s fastest roller coaster on June 13. Unfortunately, the roller coaster had to be halted due to a nation-wide mechanical recall. The recall affects all parks that carry rides created by Rocky Mountain Construction, reports MSN. That recall doesn’t include the parks’ other seven roller coasters, but it is still a painful blow to the park.

“We aren’t sure how long Lightning Rod will be closed for, but as soon as we receive the part we will expedite the process of replacing it to get up and running as soon as possible,” said Peter Owens, Dollywood Director of Media/Public Relations.

A similar incident happened at the Six Flags Great Adventure Park in Jackson, New Jersey, last month when the brand new “4D, free-fly” roller coaster, The Joker, shut down less than one hour of operation. Some riders were stuck upside down for 15 minutes before being attended to. As the Inquisitr reported, one of the cars became stuck in a sideways position when two of the riders are believed to have been trying to swing it.

“No one’s safety was ever at risk,” said Six Flags Great Adventure president John Fitzgerald, who also noted that Six Flags’ staff “clearly don’t want that to happen, so we swapped out that vehicle.”

The Joker was back up and running the next day.

In addition to be the world’s fastest roller coaster reaching speed up to 70 miles per hour, the Lightning Rod is the only wooden coaster with a launching system. As for Parton, the Inquisitr reported recently that the singer has no plans of riding Lightning Rod any time soon. She recalled a story where she once rode Disneyland’s Space Mountain with her niece.

“I was never more scared than I was at Disneyland. I had a little niece who wanted to ride Space Mountain. She was crying her eyes out. I didn’t want to ride, but I did it for her. I almost threw her out! I was so scared, I couldn’t even hold on to her. I thought, ‘Oh Lord, if you just let me make it through this, I’ll never get on another coaster.”

As impressive the speed of Lightning Rod is, it pales in comparison to the top ten fastest roller coasters of the world as compiled by About.com. Here are the top ten from that list:

#10: (Tie) Goliath from Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California
The hyper coaster runs to a top speed of 85 miles per hour.

#10: (Tie) Phantom’s Revenge from Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
Also known as a hyper coaster, Phantom’s Revenge also goes as high as 85 miles per hours.

#10: (Tie) Titan from Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas
The third hyper coaster to travel up to 85 miles per hour.

#9: Intimidator 305 from Kings’s Dominion in Doswell, Virginia
This out and back giga coaster can run up to 90 miles per hour. (When the ride originally opened in 2010, the top speed was 94 miles per hour.

#8: Leviathan from Cedar Fair Parks in Maple, Ontario
This out and back giga coaster’s top speed is 93 miles per hour and is known as the fast roller coaster in Canada.

#7: Millennium Force from Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Another out and back giga coaster, the Millennium Force has a top speed of 93 miles per hour.

#6: (Tie) Steel Dragon 2000 from Nagashima Spa Land in Nagashima, Japan
The Steel Dragon 2000 is a an out and back terra-coaster with a top speed of 95 miles per hour and top height of 318 feet.

#6: (Tie) Fury 325 from Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina
The out and back giga-coaster also travels at a top speed tof 95 miles per hour.

#5: (Tie) Superman: Escape from Krypton from Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California.
At a top speed of 100 miles per hour, this magnetic induction shuttle coaster begins with a 415 tall tower.

#5: (Tie) Tower of Terror II from Dreamworld in Queensland, Australia
Although similar sounding, this coaster has nothing in common with Disney theme park’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride. However, the magnetic induction shuttle coaster does travel up to 100 miles per hour.

#4: Dodonpa from Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi, Japan
This thrust air coaster can go from 0 to 107 miles per hour is just under two seconds! Riders are thrust up a 170-food top hat tower at 90 degrees and the ride lasts just 55 seconds in length.

#3: Top Thrill Dragster from Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
This hydraulic launch rocket coaster travels as fast as 120 miles per hour.

#2: Kingda Ka from Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey
This hydraulic launch rocket coaster has a top speed of 128 miles per hour and it considered the tallest coaster in the world.

#1: Formula Rossa from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi
This is the fastest roller coaster of them all with a top speed of 149.1 miles per hour. The ride is both an indoor and outdoor experience. The speed is so intense, riders are given protective safety goggles to wear.

[Photo by Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images]